I'm staying at a Comfort Suites hotel in North Bergen, NJ on 1200 Tonnelle Ave. I check out in the morning and 9 am cannot come fast enough. Let me start with check in. I presented my organization credit card authorization form. I gave it to the desk clerk who said she needed to resubmit our credit card (even though our director of operations got the card authorized days earlier and hotel cards are not charged until the end of the stay). 10 seconds later, she said the organization card was declined. I asked to review the form and found that she had a form that belonged to someone else. When I brought this to her attention, she didn't apologize, instead she asked me why I gave her this form. I had no idea who was listed on that form and knew I never had that form in my possession. And again, our card was authorized and the money was cleared.
We check in and everything is fine until morning. One of my teens, all here for a youth leadership conference in Manhattan, went downstairs for breakfast. She was joined by two more of her peers a short time later. She and her peers were questioned by two staff members who needed to verify that they were guests of the hotel. By the time they finished questioning them, one of the teens was so upset, she decided not to eat. What added to their insult was the group of white teens who drew no attention from staff and were not questioned. They came back to the room and told me about the incident, but when I went downstairs, I could not find the staff person (s) and I saw no one at the front desk.
After returning to the hotel at 1145 pm last night, while walking towards the elevator, a front desk staff person questioned all of us about our group and asked if we were actually guests of the hotel. I responded explaining that we had been here since Friday afternoon. I took the teens to the room and returned to the front desk to ask why my party continues to get questioned about our status as guests. He proceeded to give an extremely weak excuse saying Comfort Suites age cut off for children is 12. He also said he felt it was a fire hazard having all of us in one room (even though the room advertises that it sleeps up to 8 people).
He went on to explain how NY law prohibits that many people in one room and if he were at the desk at check in, he would have said something. I explained how we booked on Expedia and Comfort Suites has an child age drop box that goes up age 17 AND the room was advertised as a suite for up to 8 people. He stuttered saying he would need to look into this and gave a very weak apology.
Basically, it's clear we were treated unfairly because we are black! I am careful not to make this claim too quickly because it's important to examine all factors that contribute to an incident but, in this case, I can say with certainty, this had everything to do with race. I leave this hotel this morning with an extremely bad taste in my mouth. I am hurt, humiliated, and feel staying here was a huge mistake. My rating: 1 star… F for failure. With many regrets.